How To Apply Wallpaper

How To Apply Wallpaper

How To Apply Wallpaper

Introduction to Wallpaper Application

Wallpapers offer a fantastic way to transform the look and feel of a room, providing an array of designs and textures which might not be possible or practical to achieve with paint. However, while wallpaper can add a touch of elegance and richness to your interior décor, its application can appear daunting to beginners. This section will introduce you to the essentials of wallpaper application, providing an overview of the tools necessary, the steps involved, and important tips to ensure your project results in a beautiful, long-lasting finish.

Why Wallpaper?

Before diving into how to apply wallpaper, let's understand why one might choose wallpaper as a decorative option. Wallpaper can hide many surface imperfections that paint might not be able to cover. Plus, wallpaper offers a variety of patterns, designs, textures, and colors that will not only suit your style but can also create optical illusions, making small rooms look larger or taller.

Tools Needed

Proper wallpaper application begins with the right tools and materials. Some of the key tools you will require are wallpaper rolls, a tape measure, a leveling tool, a wallpaper smoothing tool, a sponge, a utility knife, a paste brush or roller, and a bucket. If you’re applying unpasted wallpaper, you will also need wallpaper adhesive.

Prepping the Room

You will need to prepare your room before applying the wallpaper. This process involves cleaning your walls, removing any existing wallpaper or paint, patching any holes or cracks with filler, and priming the walls to ensure better adhesion. This step is crucial in achieving a smooth and professional finish, and should not be skipped.

In the following sections of this article, we will delve deeper into the exact steps of applying wallpaper successfully. Grab your tools and let's begin transforming your living space!

Understanding Different Types of Wallpaper

Before you begin the application process, it's essential to understand the various types of wallpaper available in the market. Each type has unique characteristics, texture, durability, and patterns that will significantly impact the look and feel of your room.

Vinyl Wallpaper

Vinyl wallpaper is a popular choice due to its durability and ease of cleaning. It's especially suitable for kitchens and bathrooms where moisture and stains are common. This type comes in two types: vinyl coated, which has a paper base, and solid vinyl, which is entirely made of vinyl.

Non-Woven Wallpaper

Non-woven wallpapers are an eco-friendly option, made from natural and synthetic fibers. This type is breathable, which means they prevent mold and mildew. Besides, they're washable and easy to install and remove.

Flock Wallpaper

Flock wallpapers offer a velvety, textured feel adding a touch of luxury and sophistication to any room. Fantastic for creating a bedroom or living room feature wall that will stand out and amaze.

Embossed Wallpaper

Embossed wallpapers are great for covering imperfections in your walls as they have patterns raised from the surface of the wallpaper, giving a three dimensional feel. Paintable versions allow customization according to your style and room decor.

Metallic Wallpaper

Metallic wallpapers have a thin layer of metal or foil on the surface that reflects light, making your room more vibrant and visually larger. However, they require a smooth wall surface for the best finish as the metallic effect could highlight imperfections.

Fabric Wallpaper

Fabric wallpapers add texture and warmth to your room but they're not recommended for rooms exposed to moisture or potential stains as they're difficult to clean.

Understanding these types will help you choose the most suitable wallpaper based on your lifestyle, the room's use, and design theme. The next step is to prepare your walls for the wallpaper application discussed in the following section.

Tools and Materials Needed for Wallpaper Application

Before all else, it's important to gather all necessary tools and materials to ensure a seamless wallpaper application. Having everything at your fingertips can make the process easier and more efficient.


Firstly, you will need your selected wallpaper. It's essential to purchase more than enough to cover your wall, keeping in mind the pattern match and any potential mistakes. Remember, it's better to have leftover wallpaper than fall short.

Tools for Application

Some essential tools for applying wallpaper include a paste brush, a trimming knife, a seam roller, a plumb line, and a smoother or brush. The paste brush helps in applying the adhesive evenly, and a seam roller is used to flatten the seams. Your smoother or brush can then remove any air bubbles that might form during application. Lastly, a plumb line is a vital tool that helps align the wallpaper correctly to ensure an even application.

Wallpaper Paste

You will also need wallpaper paste. Some wallpapers come pre-pasted, making them a convenient choice. However, it's still a good idea to have some extra on hand for overlap areas and the wall's edges. Paste comes in either a premixed variant or as a dry powder that needs to be mixed with water.

Preparation Materials

Prior to application, the wall needs to be prepped. This calls for some sandpaper to smooth out irregularities, sugar soap to clean the surface, and a primer to provide a suitable base for the wallpaper paste. Having a drop cloth is also advised to protect your floor or furniture against any possible paste drips.

Additional Tools

Lastly, a few additional tools can ease the application process. A toolbox or a worktable can keep your tools organized and within reach, and a ladder would be necessary if you’re working with high walls. Having a measuring tape at hand would also be useful to measure out your wallpaper accurately before cutting it.

Even though the list might seem long, you'll find that most of these tools and materials are common household items. Proper preparation can greatly enhance the outcome of your wallpaper application project, and make the process smoother and more enjoyable.

Preparing Your Walls for Wallpaper

The process of applying wallpaper begins with a crucial step: preparing your walls. Without proper preparation, even the best quality wallpapers might not stick properly, leading to peeling or sagging over time. Here's how to get your walls ready for wallpaper application:

Clean the Walls

Start by cleaning your walls thoroughly. Use warm, soapy water and sponge or cloth to wipe away any dust, grime or dirt. Make sure your walls are completely dry before proceeding to the next steps. This step is essential for the wallpaper adhesive to work properly.

Repair Any Defects

Examine your walls carefully for any cracks, holes, or peeling paint. For small issues, a little spackle or wall repair paste should work. For larger problems, you might need to putty or plaster. Sand the repaired area smooth, and remove any remaining dust before proceeding.

Prime Your Walls

Priming your walls will create a clean, smooth, and adhesive-friendly surface that's ideal for wallpaper. Make sure to use a primer specifically designed for wallpapering. Let it dry for at least 24 hours before moving on to the actual wallpaper application.

Check for Imperfections

Now that your walls are clean, repaired and primed, you'll want to take one last look for any potential issues before proceeding. Even minor imperfections could be visible once the wallpaper is up, so take the time to fix any remaining flaws.

With your wall now properly prepared, you're ready for the next stages in the wallpaper application process. Stay tuned to ensure that your wallpaper installation goes smoothly, and that the final result looks professional and attractive.

Measuring, Cutting, and Aligning the Wallpaper

Each of these steps play crucial parts in the wallpaper application process. Failing to do one correctly may result in an end product that is less than desirable. Let's break down each step:

Measuring the Wallpaper

Start by measuring the height and width of each wall where the wallpaper will be applied. These measurements will help you determine how much wallpaper you will need. It's always a good idea to have a little extra wallpaper for mistakes and for future repairs. Remember, you need enough paper to account for pattern repeats and matching the design across strips.

Cutting the Wallpaper

Once you have your measurements, begin cutting the wallpaper. Use a sharp utility knife and a straight edge for precise, clean cuts. Remember to check the pattern match prior to cutting. The general rule is to cut the lengths about 10cm longer than the wall height, you will need to add an excess to your strip at both the top and the bottom of your wall. You can trim this excess wallpaper later once after application.

Aligning the Wallpaper

This might be the most difficult part, but it's crucial for an impressive finish. The first strip of wallpaper should be hung on a guideline you've drawn, which must be truly vertical. This ensures that the wallpaper will be affixed straight and square to the room. Once the first strip is in place, subsequent strips can be hung next to it by matching the edges and the pattern. Be careful not to overlap, as this can cause visible seams.

After successfully applying the wallpaper, you can use a seam roller to flatten the edges and eliminate any noticeable seams, making your application perfect.

By paying careful attention to these steps - measuring, cutting, and aligning your wallpaper - you can transform your spaces and create distinct, visually appealing interiors.

Stay tuned for our next article where we'll provide further information about the next steps in the wallpaper application process.

Steps to Successfully Apply Wallpaper

Applying wallpaper can significantly transform the appearance of any room. However, this task demands meticulous attention to detail to attain the best results. If you're planning on wallpapering your home, here are the steps to take:

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Firstly, gather all necessary tools for the project including the wallpaper, adhesive, a clean sponge, seam roller, a utility knife, level, and a smoothing tool.

Step 2: Prepare Your Wall

For the wallpaper to adhere properly, start by cleaning the wall, removing any old wallpapers, nails or fixing any imperfections. Then, apply a primer-sealer to provide an ideal surface for your wallpaper.

Step 3: Cut the Wallpaper

Carefully measure and cut the wallpaper to the correct size, always leaving extra allowance for trimming.

Step 4: Apply the Adhesive

Lay each strip pattern side down and apply a thin, even coat of adhesive. Remember to smoothen out any air bubbles using a smoothing brush.

Step 5: Hang the Wallpaper

Start from the top and work your way down. Align each strip precisely to ensure patterns match. Also, make sure each strip is smooth and bubble-free using a smoothing tool.

Step 6: Trim and Smooth

Use a utility knife to safely cut away any excess wallpaper at the base and top of the wall. Go over each seam with a seam roller to ensure a flat and firm fit.

Step 7: Clean Up and Maintenance

Clean any adhesive residue with a damp sponge, then leave the wallpaper to dry completely. In terms of maintenance, cleaning the wallpaper regularly will keep it looking its best.

By meticulously following these steps, you can transform your rooms into a pleasing environment, tailored to your personal taste.

Troubleshooting Common Wallpaper Application Issues

Problems with wallpaper application can be frustrating. They can mar the aesthetics of your room and even cause damage over time. Thankfully, there are solutions for the most common issues associated with hanging wallpaper. Here we discuss several typical problems and how you can address them.

Problem 1: Wallpaper Peeling Away

Wallpaper peeling away at the edges or corners is a common issue, usually caused by improper preparation of the wall or poor adhesive application. Consider using a stronger paste or adhesive and make sure the wall surface is clean, dry, and smooth before applying wallpaper. You may also use a seam roller to ensure good adhesion, particularly at the corners and edges.

Problem 2: Air Bubbles Under Wallpaper

After application, you might notice some air bubbles under the wallpaper, leading to an unattractive finish. To remove the bubbles, you can use a utility knife to make a small incision, then use a smoother to flatten the wallpaper. However, prevention is always the best approach: smoothing the wallpaper out as you apply it will reduce the likelihood of air bubbles forming.

Problem 3: Wallpaper Fails to Stick

If your wallpaper is not sticking to the wall, it can be due to a subpar adhesive, improper wall preparation, or even damp or cold conditions. Make sure to use a high-quality adhesive, prepare the wall correctly, and apply the wallpaper in optimal conditions. It's advisable to ensure the room temperature is above 10°C for the best results.

Problem 4: Wallpaper Pattern Doesn't Match

Matching patterns is critical for an aesthetic wallpaper finish. Before hanging wallpaper, always lay it out to ensure the patterns match. If the patterns still don't line up properly after application, carefully remove it and realign the wallpaper. Use a level and tape measure to ensure accurate alignment.

While unfortunate, wallpaper application issues are often solvable. It's all about careful preparation, proper use of tools and adhesives, and attention to detail during the application process. Understanding the potential issues before you start can help you prevent mistakes and achieve a flawless finish.

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Wallpaper

After successfully installing your wallpaper, it's essential to keep it looking its best through proper maintenance and cleaning. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you ensure that your wallpaper stands the test of time and continues to be a feature that you love in your home.

Regular Dusting

Regular dusting is a basic yet crucial step in maintaining the appearance of your wallpaper. Use a soft brush or microfiber cloth to gently remove dust particles from the surface. Make sure to start from the top and work your way down to prevent dust from falling on the cleaned sections.

Detergent Cleaning

For wallpaper that is washable or labelled as 'scrubbable', a mild detergent can be used to remove stains or grime. After mixing the detergent with water, apply it gently using a sponge or soft cloth, then rinse with clean water and let dry.

Spot Cleaning

If you notice any marks or stains on your wallpaper, spot cleaning is needed. Use a damp sponge or cloth to blot the area being careful not to rub as it can damage the wallpaper’s finish. For stubborn stains, a bit of mild soap or detergent can be used.

Avoiding Sun Damage

Over time, the sun can cause wallpaper to fade. To prevent this, consider installing blinds, shades, or curtains to shield your walls from direct sunlight.

Professional Cleaning Services

In cases where your wallpaper requires more extensive cleaning or repair due to peeling edges or bubbling, you might want to consider consulting a professional. A qualified wallpaper installer or cleaning service will have the necessary knowledge and tools to restore your wallpaper to its former glory.

Maintaining and cleaning your wallpaper regularly will significantly increase its lifespan and preserve its beauty, providing an aesthetic delight that your visitors will admire, and you can enjoy for years to come.